While Nick Saban had a brief and failed stint as head coach of the Miami Dolphins, returning to the collegiate ranks from the NFL has largely been nothing but fruitful. Since a 7-6 debut season with Alabama in 2007, he’s guided the Crimson Tide to double-digit wins every year.
Included in that are three BCS Championships and two more titles since college football switched to a playoff format. Saban has led the Crimson Tide to the four-team College Football Playoff in each of its four iterations, going 5-2 in that time.
Like other programs around the country, Alabama is pushing through fall camp in preparation for the season. The mundane nature practices can take on was recently broken up when Los Angeles Lakers legend Kobe Bryant visited campus.
Bryant spoke with the Crimson Tide football players about leadership and learning to how to adjust to what’s necessary in order to get the best out of teammates. He mentioned Pau Gasol and Lamar Odom in his examples.
While Bryant was there to pass his wisdom on young athletes, the visit provided him with an opportunity to meet Saban, who the future Hall-of-Famer explained he has long admired. While a few decades apart in age, Bryant and Saban share a similar passion and drive for excellence.
Rather than become satisfied or complacent with winning multiple championships, it served as fuel for the fiery competitors. And for now, Bryant and Saban remain tied with five titles in their respective professions.